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9.1.27: G.7.4- Perfect Tenses in Hypothetical Constructions (los tiempos perfectos en construcciones hipotéticas)

  • Page ID
    235709
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    First review what you have already learned about "if" clauses in hypothetical situations.

    Form

    Past Perfect Subjunctive

    To form the past perfect subjunctive, conjugate the verb haber in the imperfect subjunctive + past participle.

    haber hablar comer vivir
    yo hubiera hablado comido vivido
    hubieras
    él/ella/Ud. hubiera
    nosotros/as hubiéramos
    vosotros/as hubierais
    ellos/ellas/Uds. hubieran

    Conditional Perfect

    To form the conditional perfect, conjugate the verb haber in the conditional + past participle.

    haber hablar comer vivir
    yo habría hablado comido vivido
    habrías
    él/ella/Ud. habría
    nosotros/as habríamos
    vosotros/as habríais
    ellos/ellas/Uds. habrían

    Perfect Constructions with “Si”

    Clause with “si” with the PAST PERFECT SUBJUNCTIVE ... ... Main clause with the CONDITIONAL PERFECT
    Si hubieran estudiado más ...
    If they had/would have studied more ...
    ... habrían sacado mejores notas en el examen.
    ... they would have gotten better grades on the exam.
    Si hubiera sabido eso ...
    If I had/would have known that ...
    ... no habría tomado la misma decisión.
    ... I wouldn’t have made the same decision.
    Si hubieras estado en mi lugar ...
    If you had been in my place ...
    ... ¿qué habrías hecho?
    ... what would you have done?
    Si hubiera llovido ayer ...
    If it had/would have rained yesterday ...
    ... no habríamos ido al concierto.
    ... we would not have gone to the concert.

    Note: The order of the two clauses can be reversed, but “si” always introduces the past perfect subjunctive:

    Ejemplo(s):
    No habríamos ido al concierto, si hubiera llovido ayer.

    Uses of Hypothetical Constructions with Perfect Tenses

    These constructions are used to imagine a hypothetical past (not real). It is easier to identify the impossible/imaginary nature of these actions or events described with these constructions because they refer to the past.

    Ejemplo(s):
    Si hubieran estudiado más, habrían sacado mejores notas en el examen.
    If they had/would have studied more, they would have gotten better grades on the exam.

    In this example we know that the reality is that the students did not earn good grades on the exam. The speaker is imagining an alternative past.

    Ejemplo(s):
    Si hubiera sabido eso, no habría tomado la misma decisión.
    If I had/would have known that, I would not have made the same decision.

    In this example it is clear that the speaker is not describing a reality but a hypothetical past.

    Can you explain the logic behind the construction of the other two sentences in the chart above?

    In Acceso Hub: Forma y Función (LingroLearning) you will find input and output activities to practice this structure.


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